Scanner Portable Video Light

Repurposing a Canon LiDe 500f Film Scanner Film Adapter Unit (FAU) for use as an adjustible portable light for video.

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I am taking an Film Adapter Unit from a Canon LiDe 500f Scanner to make an onboard portable video light.

First off, I'm a Filmmaker. As such, I dabble and of course try to come up with cheap alternatives or useful items anyone can use. Film equipment is expensive. Open source is where its at.

Small plug, im documenting it here since I believe I can get the most feedback from knowledgable individuals. Findings and data will be collected and distributed to the Apertus Axiom Wiki of which I am personally devoting time to reorganizing.

I support Open Source Filmmaking, I've talked to the Apertus guys personally they are knowledgable and quite helpful. Website link on this page.

Few steps and tiers here.

- Dont destroy it.

- Figure out its optimum operating power (concerned about this as I cannot find my Canoscan 500f itself just to take a reading off of it for voltage *tips on this would be helpful*. Want to do this right. Still working out just how to do that.)

- Attach a battery pack or run a line out to 14v Source.

- Reduce voltage if needed and regulate voltage to smooth out current. (seems like a good step ill be honest, no clue what im doing here we shall see)

- Make it run

- Measure output luminance and optimize.

- Will be measured at 50mm - 1/48 or 180 Shutter Angle - ISO100 - F2.8 (Ah, dont know tstops offhand XD)

- Make it change colors

- Make it independant or 14v powered.

- Arduino for presets

- Modify outer enclosure or re-enclose it

- Add removable front holder for gels or simply for protecting the LED array

Keep in mind, I have one Arduino Uno... er ... so to speak. I dont know if I will do this or devote it to other projects but the skys the limit and it should all be possible and fairly easily.

- - Arduino Steps - -

- Make presets for different colors. Best ones to match indoor and outdoor lighting situtations

*i.e. Record and measure light for White Balance temperature and display on LCD*

- Auto adjusting based on lens presets

- Add the ability to program presets for different lenses.

- Add ability to record presets for iso

- auto beauty light

- Sense ambient light with arduino and compensate video light automatically for best exposure without blown out highlights on a subject based on distance

- Will need rangefinder as well (more complicated, also dont have an ultrasonic rangefinder)

A few obstacles...

- Understanding of capacitance. (im still working on this)

- Figuring out correct voltage

- Portable with its own battery or runs of DTap (I have 14v IDX batteries)

- Using a Joule Thief or running straight from battery depending on voltage needed.

- Use of capacitors for storing voltage if needed (may not need to do)

Already has housing and cables thats easy enough. Just gotta drill a hole and affix a standard 1/8" screw or Hotshoe mount.

- Add switch for on and off

- Add dimmer

- Add potentiometers for adjusting the color.

- Hook to an arduino for presets and control using an LCD screen. (eh a bit much but why not)

This project will also bridge a few other projects as well designed to target frugal or DIY filmmakers. I will have links to them soon.

  • 1 × Canon Film Adapter Unit (FAU) FARE LEVEL 3 Canon Adapter Unit
  • 1 × Arduino Uno May not be needed, we will see how it progresses. There are many other projects id like to use it for.
  • 1 × Joule Thief Either make one or use one. Either way
  • 2 × AA rechargeable batteries I want this to be able to last a while. Might switch to 9v
  • 1 × 14v IDX Battery Big sucker but I use it to power my camera and accessories.

  • The End

    Rebelj12a11/21/2014 at 04:41 0 comments

    It is with a firm hand and a heavy heart I type this last project note.

    We have reached an unfortunate impasse. Long story short the FAU despite being for film scanning is not meant to be used at highvoltages and produces little light.

    I have a pin out image I will be attaching once I am back at the office. In any case the weak link here was the RED led which is where the problems sprang from.

    Using a 5v 2amp power source I powered the light somewhat successfully however in discovering the pinouts and running a multi color test it failed. The Red LED completely. Only works intermittently.

    The green and blue ramp up in brightness but then flicker and shut off.

    Upon using a resistor I found the brightness too low to be usable at that point despite the blue and green becoming stable at that point.

    While the board is still quiteuseful now that the pinouts have been mapped (a nice little cable for other projects) this project is officially closed. I hope it remains here for informative purposes.

    That being said some say you can measure the true depths of success with the number of a persons failures. While this project has failed, I have others including 4 scanners just sitting doing nothing. See you all later.

  • Success!

    Rebelj12a11/17/2014 at 22:56 0 comments

    Ok - it works, using the 5v source although ill be entirely honest it seems underpowered.

    Positive goes to the V+ on the board and negative to the R G or B pins and we get light.

    The issue here will be seeing how much power it actually can take. If anyone has one of these units with an FAU, getting a power reading on the pins would be helpful. Also going to manually test each pin to see which goes to what.. Will post a schematic here once i figure it out.

    Also - Note - need alligator clips... very small ones. Anyone has any suggestions send me a link, id greatly appreciate it XD

  • Removed from housing

    Rebelj12a11/17/2014 at 22:41 0 comments

    Well removed it from the housing. Going to take some pictures. I applied 5v from 4 AA batteries to the voltage pin. However nothing happened currently reading up on how others have connected an RGB scanner light up but the pictures are minimal to say the least not sure where to connect the ground. Pictures in a second.

    Also nothing helpful or remarkable underneath the board.

  • Getting set up.

    Rebelj12a11/13/2014 at 02:45 0 comments

    Been knocking the idea around long enough. Time to start documenting. Going to go into this with at least a base knowledge of electronics and hacking. (im decent but no superstar here)

    Going to need some help with learning ways and resources for testing. Id greatly appreciate input and links. Feel free to send them to me. All documented sources and information will be saved and added to the Apertus Axiom Wiki once I am able to organize it, so this is no dead end here. What I learn I hope everyone can learn.

    Looking at the device, ive taken it apart. Its fairly easy to be honest. I will have pictures up in a bit. Simple ribbon to cable, and inputs. Cannot quite get the unit out without desoldering it. The light part is soldered to the board and holds it in place.

    Also attempts at discovering the Repair manual for the Canon Canoscan LIDE 500f are fruitless. No board schematics can be found as far as I can tell. Unfortunate. However someone may be able to take a look at the board and decipher it. If so I would greatly appreciate it.

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